The term sustainability simply refers to the ability to sustain something.
In the case of renewable energy projects that use solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, sustainability implies the ability to sustain the use of a system over the long-term. With experience working on projects with over 230 organizations, LUTW has learned that the technical installation of a solar PV system is the easiest part of any project. Ensuring the lights stay on, cell phones keep charging and the radio continues to play for years to come is a far greater challenge.
Implementing sustainable projects not only means effectively training community members and installing systems, but also anticipating how systems and projects may fail.
Project design should include tools and mechanisms that enable a project to overcome the possible points of failure. Based on both research and project experience, LUTW has identified nine critical success factors to the sustained use of solar PV systems in off-grid communities.